In an address to MPs yesterday (Wednesday 8 July), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outlined plans to help under-25 year olds, saying “we cannot lose this generation”.
The Government’s Plan for Jobs will involve a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.
This funding is in addition to an existing £1,000 payment already provided for new 16 to 18 year-old apprentices and those aged under-25 with an education, health and care plan.
Sunak told MPs “We know apprenticeships work,” and said more than nine out of ten apprentices (91%) stay in work or do further training afterwards.
Jill Whittaker, managing director of HIT Training, an apprenticeship provider for the hospitality sector, said she was keen to see more details of how businesses could apply and pointed to further changes she would like to see.
She added: “We had hoped that the Kickstart Scheme would be capable of running in tandem with an apprenticeship, thus helping operators to take on new talent and nurture them for a great career in our fabulous industry. Unfortunately, current advice is the schemes cannot be run at the same time, however we are working making a strong case to the government for this to be changed."
The Kickstart Scheme will see an initial £2bn granted to employers to fund new roles for 16-24 year olds, with businesses able to apply next month for roles that will begin in the autumn.
Whittaker said she was disappointed the Government had not opened up the apprenticeship levy to support non-apprenticeship skills and apprentice wages, removed the employer contribution for small employers or extended access to training for people who struggle to find employment after losing their jobs.
The Government also said it would provide funding for employers to offer young people traineeships, which provide up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience in addition to maths and English classes.
The additional £111m funding could triple the amount of traineeships available to 16 to 24 year olds, the Government said, with employers given £1,000 per trainee on work experience.
Pub companies and brewers welcomed news of the initiatives, including Heineken which called the measures a “positive boost” for pubs as many young people were employed by the sector.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls also welcomed the support measures. She said: “Businesses have been closed for months and, with the possibility of a difficult winter ahead, support to create jobs will be vital if hospitality is to play the significant role we hope it will in helping boost the economy.